You might wonder, “What should I look for when buying a generator?”. Choosing a generator can be tricky, especially with all the different types of fuels, brands, and power ratings. However, picking the right one is vital since their usefulness will only increase over the next years.
In fact, the generator market is expected to grow by $87.76 million in 2025. The main reason is severe weather that causes more power outages. So whether you’re buying a generator to power your worksite, home, or campsite, consider your choice wisely. In this generator guide, we’ll share valuable tips to help you make the best choice for your needs. Let’s dive in!
1. Identify your needs and budget
First things first. Before jumping on buying a generator, identify what you’ll be using it for. Generators’ prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, so depending on your needs, the budget will follow.
For example, portable generators provide electricity, but can’t support the power needs of a home 24 hours a day, unless you’re keeping a couple of lights on. However, trying to power your TV or computer with a portable generator will only damage those devices in the long run due to voltage fluctuation. So, in that case, the best generator for home is a standby generator.
Deciding what your generator will be used for will ultimately determine if it’ll be portable or stationary. For instance, portability is a must if you want to travel or want a generator for a van or camping. On the other hand, when looking for a generator for your property, in case your main power fails, stationery generators are the best option.
2. Choose the appropriate type of fuel
Generators work with different types of fuel: petrol, diesel, propane, or solar power. They all have their advantages and drawbacks, so make sure you do your research on what type of power your generator uses.
Petrol is the most common fuel. Usually, generators that work with petrol tend to be smaller and more portable. Plus, petrol is well-known and readily available, so you’d say it’s an “emergency fuel”. However, on the downside, petrol has a short shelf life of around 12 months, and it’s associated with dangers as it’s a flammable fuel.
Diesel is the primary fuel of larger generators above 5kW. It ensures a larger life-span and more fuel efficiency, so the payoff is considerable. With the lowest operating costs and large storage, this is a great power option for a generator. However, diesel is not environmentally-friendly, it produces a lot of noise, and it’s ultimately more effective when run at heavy loads.
Propane is one of the cleaner options when buying a generator. Specifically, propane generators are safer to refuel, and you can achieve longer run times. With an almost limitless shelf-life, it’s the ideal fuel if you wish to use your generator infrequently. The only drawback is that propane generators are usually converted from petrol models, so they can be more expensive.
Finally, solar-powered generators work by taking their energy through solar panels and storing it in a rechargeable battery. As a result, their mechanics and specifications can differ significantly from other types of generators.
3. Consider storage and durability
Last but not least, on our checklist of how to choose a generator are storage and durability. Where will the generator be used, under which circumstances, and with what risks of knocking or splattering it? Will you be using the generator in a construction site in wet and dirty conditions? If so, you need to take measures to safeguard your investment.
For example, if you purchase a stationary generator, you might need to buy an additional shed or a cover to go over it. On the other hand, if you’re buying a portable generator, you might just place it in a reserved space in your van or need to purchase an extra trailer to transfer it. Finally, consider buying specific “endurance” models of generators that can handle abuse.
Buying a generator
Hopefully, our generator guide will help you answer the “what should I look for when buying a generator” question. Prioritize quality at all costs as it will increase the efficiency of your business in the long run. Speaking of quality, make sure you explore our extensive list of generators for different uses or contact us at Just Portable Generators to customize your experience.